Alex Poole has become quite the busy man. He spends his time playing guitar for Krieg and Martröð as well as manning the Mystískaos label and one of its subsequent projects, Skáphe. Yet, before much of this, Alex started a project named Chaos Moon. What initially began as a solo endeavor back in 2004 has now grown to become a full band following its reactivation from a two-year hiatus. For Poole, Chaos Moon remains an entry point into black metal, but as the years have passed it has also become a barometer for growth as an artist. Eschaton Mémoire is the fourth full-length record in Chaos Moon's discography. Now, as a four-piece, the band possesses a harsher, more direct take on early 90s black metal. Eric Baker joined as vocalist and lyricist a couple of years ago. Guitarist, Steve Blackburn, and drummer, Jack Blackburn, followed suit.
Tracks like "Eschaton Mémoire I", showcase the collective genius of Chaos Moon and their contemporary take on vintage black metal. Crystalline synths sound the beginning of a figurative end of life. The lyrics for "Eschaton Mémoire I" employ aspects of Norse mythology to drive home an album-wide concept of finality. However musically, the track brims with violent life. Poole and company capitalize on classic notions but do not simply rest on its laurels. Instead, they inject a sense of anxiety and dread compared to the triumphant tone sometimes felt in Scandinavian black metal. Blistering riffs and furious blast beats populate much of the track and nearly suffocates the listener. There are only very brief moments of reprieve to allow a fleeting breath.
Read an interview with the band and stream "Eschaton Mémoire I" below. Eschaton Mémoire arrives November 17 through Fallen Empire Records and Blood Music. Pre-order a copy now. Also, follow Chaos Moon on Facebook.
You have had quite the busy last couple of years. Mystískaos has been getting off of the ground, you all are playing in various bands, Alex recently brought Skáphe to the stage for the first time, and it appears that you are writing for a number of other efforts. How has it been to focus and sort of reconnect with Chaos Moon during such a busy time musically?
Steve Blackburn: Writing for this was very natural. Which unintentionally made it easy to jump right back into other creative endeavors. It was just one of those unexpected things where we were on the same page, maybe even built up from not working together for many years.
Alex Poole: Absolutely, very natural process. It was, to be cliché, the right place at the right time; our moment(s) of clarity in regards to this project. But, I don’t really have a procedure going between projects. I try not to force anything in a certain direction, it should always be natural. I don’t often approach a new writing session with a certain band or sound in mind, I let my subconscious decide what direction I’m going in. Once the direction has been set, I work from there.
Your first two Chaos Moon albums were re-released as a compilation and your new album, Eschaton Mémoire, will arrive in November. It has been excellent to compare this project’s earliest works and where it stands at this very moment. Taking a moment to reflect, what have been some of your biggest takeaways during your musical career so far?
Alex: Knowing exactly what I want to achieve with each writing session. My earlier days were filled with too many scattered ideas, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to be. Sonically, old and new share a lot of similarities, but I think the consistency is much more present. Also, spending more time with what has been written before calling it complete. With this new album, for example, we tried to take full advantage of every moment without overcooking the ideas.
Eschaton Mémoire, as the name suggests a chronicle of the impending end of days—be it physically, mentally, or spiritually. It seems the album itself is broken up into three sections: “The Pillar, The Fall, and The Key”, “Of Wrath and Forbidden Wisdom”, and “Eschaton Mémoire.” Could you elaborate more on the decision to arrange Eschaton Mémoire in this manner?
Alex: This is as close to a concept album as we’ve come thus far. As we wrote, the tracks organically come out as ‘chapters.’ Each track, or chapter, represents a difference in mood without compromising the album, meaning, it should feel like a single experience rather than three tracks we wrote for an album. For me, the album makes most since when you sit through the entire thing.
Speaking specifically on “Eschaton Mémoire I”, it channels a lot of classic black metal like Emperor. It is a synth-heavy song but it packs a lot of the vintage fury that Anthems… and Nightshade… have. Additionally, the lyrics of it allude to Norse mythology, particularly about Nidhogg. How do some of these Norse themes weave into the overall narrative of the album?
Eric Baker: The Norse mythology referenced represents one interpretation of the end of human existence. Lyrically, my vision of Eschaton Mémoire considers literal and metaphorical interpretation, crossing reality and other planes. On the surface, "Eschation Mémoire I" sets the final stages of life in action, crossing Niflheim into our realm by way of Nidhogg devouring roots of Yggdrasil.